I write when I'm inspired and publish only when I'm ready. I don't read comment forums and I block communication from harassing strangers. I connect with at least one close friend per day, preferably in person. I sing constantly, loudly, and usually only for myself (or dogs). I'm doing the best that I can and trying to greet each new day with wonder and gratitude.
Wherever I go around the world, I see the same hunger to live our lives with more meaning and purpose and less unnecessary stress and burnout. This is the goal of "33 Days of Awakening Through Loyalty to Your Soul," a new online course being offered by the University of Santa Monica, which I'm delighted we have arranged to offer free for HuffPost readers. The class is designed so that on each day of the course, the intention for the day is supported with meditations, videos, podcasts and other resources that help us go deeper. Each day's email has a theme: clarifying our intentions, accepting what we cannot change, putting our thoughts in writing to help us forgive ourselves and others, writing out a gratitude list, dropping grudges and -- my favorite -- realizing that the way we deal with the issue is the issue. When we make these habits part of our daily practice, we can view ourselves and the world with more awareness and more gratitude.
By pausing and offering a genuine compliment, you invite a two-way experiment in vulnerability, both to you and whoever is giving or receiving the compliment. It's one thing to ask for a compliment. It's another to receive it fully without deflection. When we are vulnerable we let our guard down to connect and fulfill one of our deepest human needs.
And if I was planning an exotic trip, the expectation of a great time in a foreign country would probably distract me from realizing that I could be spending every day in that state of happiness while at home. Life is a funny thing. You usually keep looking far away for things that you could have right next to you.